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Either way, a $500 PC will be woefully outdated within the same timeframe as a next-gen console is released and then phased out. However, the biggest advantage is that the entire (Windows-based) back catalogue is (mostly) backwards, and forwards compatible with newer machines. On the other hand, consoles usually live long lives anyway, with new games trickling out for old platforms. Therefore, your ~12 year old PS2 could still be put to use with new titles. The other advantage to consoles, is you know the game will work on it. No worrying if your graphics card is too crap, no worrying if you'll have enough RAM. If it says PS3, or XBox 360, etc on it, it will work on that console, no matter how old or young.
However, Midnight Club came from Angel Studios/R* San Diego, of which, Midnight Club 3 was my favourite.